Beauty Lessons Learnt Whilst On Holiday

Beauty Lessons Learnt

Imagine the music from the 90s song ‘Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)’ by Baz Luhrman.  Let me give you a refresher:  “Ladies & gentlemen of the class of ’99.  Wear sunscreen.  If I could offer you only one tip for the future…sunscreen would be it.  The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience, I will dispense this advice now…”

Here’s a little something I bet you didn’t know about the song – the lyrics are taken from a famous essay written in 1997 by Mary Schmich (a Chicago Tribune columnist), titled:  “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young.”  Her essay gives amazing advice intended for living a happier life with less frustrations.

Do you remember that song?  I listened to it about 20 times a day when I was 15 years old…  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, well then…google is your friend.  There is some pretty interesting advice in there, here’s a snippet:  “Don’t waste your time on jealousy.  Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind.  The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself.”

The idea for this blog post came to me about half-way through our Cape Town holiday after I had quite a few frustrating experiences – most of which were my own fault!  I’m not going to tell you to wear sunscreen, I think it’s pretty obvious sunscreen is a must these days.  My advice will be more beauty-related…

Ok, so you’ve listened to the song…now replay the melody in your head while reading my tips below:

♥ Pack newbies & oldies (but goodies)!  I’m all about new experiences and trying out new products – heck, I’m a beauty blogger.  I made a rookie mistake when I packed my beauty products to go on holiday, though…  I only packed brand new hair care and skin care products I wanted to test out during the 2 weeks we were on holiday.  BIG mistake!  I soon realised that I should have also packed a couple of tried & tested products I knew would work for my skin / hair, in case the new products turned out to be duds.  For example:  I tested the LUSH BIG conditioner (a solid conditioner that claims to give you soft, yet voluminous hair) and I really didn’t like it.  I didn’t pack any other conditioner and then had to pop to the shops to pick up a trusted favourite:  Dove Color Care Daily Treatment Conditioner (it was on sale at Clicks).  Other fails include:  Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist, Sleek Hide It Concealer, Estée Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator and Clarins Daily Energizer Cream-Gel.

♥  Don’t overpack!  You do NOT need to pack 7 different nail polishes, even if you’re going to be on holiday for 2 weeks.  I didn’t paint my nails (fingers or toes) before we left, because I thought I would have all the time in the world to give myself a nice mani & pedi while we were away.  WRONG!  Turns out I was so busy stuffing my face with wine, cheese, Bubble Tea and Giovanni’s deli meats that I only had time to paint my finger nails once.

♥ Correct tools are essential!  For some arb reason I decided to only pack makeup brushes that I feel fickle about (brushes I wouldn’t mind getting damaged / stolen) & didn’t pack my trusty brushes like the Sigma F80, or any of my CALA brushes.  And every time I used these ‘meh makeup brushes’ my makeup just didn’t apply or blend the way I’m used to, so I actually ended up not wearing makeup that often while we were on holiday (which isn’t such a bad thing).  Some culprits were:  Essence Blush Brush, Eco Tools Powder Brush, Eco Tools Blend Brush, MAC 130 and Catrice Blush Brush.  I actually feel like doing something really violent to these brushes…

♥  Pack the things you KNOW you cannot live without!  These, for me, are 2 products:  A good makeup primer and my MAC Fix+ setting spray.  Guess what?  I packed neither…no idea why!  So not only was my makeup application skills seriously lacking (see point number 3) but my makeup also ended up looking quite dodgy after about 4 hours’ wear.  Basically my skin eats makeup, so if I don’t use a primer and / or my MAC setting spray, my foundation and blush literally disappears after a few hours.  I also ended up with panda eyes (top and bottom) halfway through the day because I didn’t set my eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara with MAC Fix+.  I have hooded eyelids and I find dark eyeliners on the top lash line transfer to my crease as the day progresses.

♥ Give it a break!  Your hair, that is…  Try to use minimal heat and challenge yourself to think of creative ways to style your hair while on holiday.  Top knots, fishtail braids, heatless curls, braided updos…head over to The Beauty Department for inspiration.

♥  Mask it!  Pack loads of masks – hair masks, face masks, hand masks, décolletage masks, foot masks…if you have it, pack it.  Make your holiday about relaxing and rejuvenating.  That, for me, is sitting back with a cup of coffee (or tea), a good book and masks on multiple parts of my body.  Favourites are:  Sorbet Hydrating Hand Mask, Soap & Glory No Clogs Allowed Detox Mask, Skin Logic Caviar + CoQ10 Silk Cellulose Mask Sheet, Sorbet Firming Décolletage Mask, Skin Republic Moisture Intense Foot Repair Mask and Schwarzkopf Bonacure Hairtherapy Oil Miracle Gold Shimmer Treatment.

♥  Have a holiday scent!  I’m the type of person who links memories to smells and music.  My favourite happy memories triggered by scents are always memories made while on vacation.  My holiday scent is The Body Shop Satsuma range – it kind of happened by chance a couple of years ago when I received Satsuma gift set from a family member and decided to take it on holiday with me.  I loved the scent so much, I kept repurchasing it but only for holiday-time because that way whenever I catch a whiff of it, I am taken back to happy vacation time spent with Neal.

And I’m going to throw in another piece of advice, as I think it relates to most things in life…

♥  Don’t be a stiff!  So if you’ve followed my blog for a while, then you will know I don’t like ANYONE touching my brows (or hair)…especially not a MAC makeup artist (sorry, MAC!).  They either create massive centipedes on my forehead or they hardly fill my eyebrows in at all.  Whenever a makeup artist at a beauty counter offers to give me a mini make-over, I always kindly decline because I feel they never apply the makeup, the way I would apply my makeup.  And it kills me when they use dirty makeup brushes too – eeek!

Long story short, I went to the MAC counter at Canal Walk about a week ago to pick up my trusty MAC Lingering Brow Pencil and decided to also pick up their Penultimate Brow Marker (it sounds a lot scarier than it actually is).  The makeup artist who rang up my goodies, looked at my brows and said: “Have you tried our Fluidline Brow Gelcremes?”  I then explained that I had bought 2 of the shades but just couldn’t get them to work for me – I always feel like I apply too much and end up with super dark brows.  She then asked me what brush I used to apply the Fluidline Gelcremes to my brows and I told her the MAC 208 Angled Brow Brush that was part of the brow collection.  She then said: “No.  Don’t use that one.  Use a tiny eyeliner brush like the MAC 210.  Here…let me show you.”  She then took me by the hand and led me to one of their vanities.  I was in a good mood and decided to let her have a go at my brows but I also told her I have never EVER been happy with any makeup artist who has touched my brows.  Bless her, she was SO nervous when she first started filling in my brows, she was shaking like a leaf!  She then showed me how to use the Gelcreme products using the MAC 210 brush, how to mimick teeny tiny brow hairs using short strokes, and how to fill in my brows in a very natural way.  I was very impressed – she did a really great job!  I ended up buying the brush, complimented her on her makeup application skills, thanked her and walked out of the store knowing my brow game was on point!

Moral of that long story…  Don’t be a stiff, say ‘Yes’ to more things in life and be open to new experiences, even if a similar previous experience was disappointing.